Love Your Neighbor

We are a family of Jews
for centuries, we have lived here.
Our Arab friends did not refuse
to help us farm each row and tier
of land that bordered on their farm,
We shared our vegetables and grain.
Our different faiths caused no alarm,
our friendship we need not explain.

Both Ahmed, Samuel played each day,
as children always want to do.
These childhood neighbors found a way
to speak both languages they knew.
As bosom pals, they grew to men
together built a cabinet shop
and dreamed not of a morning when
their lives as neighbors soon could stop.

A war and years of pain then came,
and Ahmed’s family’s house destroyed.
Their land was taken, and with shame,
it seemed a friendship might be void.
Yet, both men knew no state or law
could take away humanity
received at birth without a flaw,
or that would be insanity.

When Ahmed sought land to reclaim,
arrested, he was sent to jail.
But Samuel knew it was a frame
and went at once to post his bail.
Though Samuel knew he’d risk a lot,
a Palestinian to befriend,
he thought, I’ll do what I was taught:
I’ll love my neighbor to the end.

© 2019 S T Kimbrough, Jr. All rights reserved. Used by permission

Joyce D. Sohl, Laywoman-in-Residence


Joyce D. Sohl has been Laywoman-in-Residence since 2009 as a full-time volunteer. She retired as CEO of United Methodist Women in 2004. She is the author of 4 books, a teacher, retreat leader, writer and non-professional musician. Here at the Center her work is in the area of Spirituality & the Arts with such programs as Tuesdays in the Chapel, Vespers & All That Jazz, Poet’s Corner, quarterly retreats, and art exhibits.

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